Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • intransitive v. To remain or rest in expectation: waiting for the guests to arrive. See Synonyms at stay1.
  • intransitive v. To tarry until another catches up.
  • intransitive v. To remain or be in readiness: lunch waiting on the table.
  • intransitive v. To remain temporarily neglected, unattended to, or postponed: The trip will have to wait.
  • intransitive v. To work as a waiter or waitress.
  • transitive v. To remain or stay in expectation of; await: wait one's turn.
  • transitive v. Informal To delay (a meal or an event); postpone: They waited lunch for us.
  • transitive v. To be a waiter or waitress at: wait tables.
  • n. The act of waiting or the time spent waiting.
  • n. Chiefly British One of a group of musicians employed, usually by a city, to play in parades or public ceremonies.
  • n. Chiefly British One of a group of musicians or carolers who perform in the streets at Christmastime.
  • on To serve the needs of; be in attendance on.
  • on To make a formal call on; visit.
  • on To follow as a result; depend on.
  • on To await: They're waiting on my decision.
  • wait out To delay until the termination of: wait out a war; waited out the miniskirt craze.
  • wait up To postpone going to bed in anticipation of something or someone.
  • wait up Informal To stop or pause so that another can catch up: Let's wait up for the stragglers.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To delay movement or action until the arrival or occurrence of; to await. (Now generally superseded by "wait for".)
  • v. To delay movement or action until some event or time; to remain neglected or in readiness.
  • v. To wait tables; to serve customers in a restaurant or other eating establishment.
  • n. A delay.
  • n. An ambush.
  • n. One who watches; a watchman.
  • n. plural Hautboys, or oboes, played by town musicians.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The act of waiting; a delay; a halt.
  • n. Ambush.
  • n. One who watches; a watchman.
  • n. Hautboys, or oboes, played by town musicians; not used in the singular.
  • n. Musicians who sing or play at night or in the early morning, especially at Christmas time; serenaders; musical watchmen.
  • intransitive v. To watch; to observe; to take notice.
  • intransitive v. To stay or rest in expectation; to stop or remain stationary till the arrival of some person or event; to rest in patience; to stay; not to depart.
  • transitive v. To stay for; to rest or remain stationary in expectation of; to await.
  • transitive v. To attend as a consequence; to follow upon; to accompany; to await.
  • transitive v. To attend on; to accompany; especially, to attend with ceremony or respect.
  • transitive v. To cause to wait; to defer; to postpone; -- said of a meal.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To watch; be on the watch; lie in wait; look out.
  • To look forward to something; be in expectation: often with for.
  • To stay or rest in patience or expectation; remain in a state of quiescence or inaction, as till the arrival of some person or event, or till the proper moment or favorable opportunity for action: often with for.
  • To remain in readiness to execute orders; be ready to serve; be in waiting; perform the duties of an attendant or a servant; hence, to serve; supply the wants of persons at table.
  • To look at; look toward.
  • To lie in wait for.
  • To expect; look for.
  • To attend to; perform, as a duty.
  • To be ready to serve; do the bidding of.
  • To attend upon as a servant; act as attendant to; be in the service of.
  • To go to see; call upon; visit; attend.
  • To escort; accompany; attend; specifically, to attend as bridesmaid or groomsman.
  • To attend or follow as a consequence; be associated with; accompany.
  • To observe; examine; take notice of; expect; watch for; look out for.
  • To plan; scheme; contrive.
  • To seek.
  • To stay for; attend; await; expect.
  • To defer; put off; keep waiting: said of a meal.
  • To attend upon; accompany; escort.
  • To follow as a consequence of something; attend upon.
  • n. l. A watchman; a guard; also, a spy.
  • n. One of a body of musicians, especially in the seventeenth century in England.
  • n. An old variety of hautboy or shawm: so called because much used by the waits.
  • n. The act of watching; watchfulness.
  • n. An ambush; a trap; a plot: obsolete except in the phrase to lie in wait.
  • n. The act of waiting: as, a wait for the train at a station.
  • n. Time occupied in waiting; delay; an interval of waiting; specifically, in theatrical language, the time between two acts. Compare stage-wait.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. wait before acting
  • v. stay in one place and anticipate or expect something
  • v. look forward to the probable occurrence of
  • n. time during which some action is awaited
  • n. the act of waiting (remaining inactive in one place while expecting something)
  • v. serve as a waiter or waitress in a restaurant

Etymologies

Middle English waiten, from Old North French waitier, to watch, of Germanic origin; see weg- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English waiten, wayten, from Old Northern French waiter, waitier (compare French guetter from Old French gaiter, guaitier), from Old Frankish *wahtōn, *wahtjan (“to watch, guard”), derivative of *wahta ("guard, watch"), from Proto-Germanic *wahtwō (“guard, watch”), from Proto-Indo-European *weǵ- (“to be fresh, cheerful, awake”). Cognate with Old High German wahtēn ("to watch, guard"), Dutch wachten ("to wait, expect"), French guetter ("to watch out for"), North Frisian wachtjen ("to stand, stay put"). More at watch. (Wiktionary)

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